Sauk Board approves tuition hike

February 27, 2019

DIXON – Tuition and fees at Sauk Valley Community College will be going up $7 starting in the fall, but the college is projecting a $300,000 deficit even with the increase.

The Sauk Board approved a 5 percent increase Monday for fiscal year 2020, raising tuition by $5 and student fees by $2, putting the cost at $146 per credit hour.

Increasing costs with operations, insurance and salaries were factors for upping tuition, and Sauk President Dave Hellmich said earlier talks proposed a higher increase, upward of $10, but they wanted to lean toward a more conservative number.

A larger increase would have helped cover the college’s anticipated $300,000 budget hole, but Hellmich said they’re aiming to generate more revenue by increasing enrollment.

The additional $2 for the student support fee, increasing from $12 to $14, will go toward costs and coaches’ salaries with adding outdoor track and field to Sauk’s athletic roster next year.

Board member Margaret Tyne said she was concerned about having to raise fees to add track and field when the focus should be on academics.

The goal is to recruit enough student athletes in the next 2 years for the program to be able to pay for itself, said Steve Nunez, Sauk’s vice president of academics and student services.

The board also approved a waiver for students from Clinton County, Iowa, where tuition and fees will match the in-district rate for Clinton Community College, $160 per credit hour, rather than Sauk’s out-of-state rate of $382 per credit hour. The waiver doesn’t apply for competitive programs with waiting lists, like health professions programs and radiologic technology.

On average, tuition and fees have gone up 5.73 percent, about $4.65, a year during the last 2 decades.